Judge orders voter registration deadline extended in 36 counties

Published 3:34 pm Saturday, October 15, 2016

Voters in 36 of the state’s 100 counties have several more days to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election.

Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell, Pitt, Craven and Pamlico counties are among the counties affected by a court’s decision. All of the affected counties are in the eastern part of the state.

Late Friday evening, Wake County Superior County Judge Donald Stephens ordered the voter registration deadline at 5 p.m. Friday be extended through the close of business Wednesday. His order applies to the 36 counties receiving assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

The extended deadline expires the day before early voting begins.

The extended deadline might create a concern/

“It could potentially cause an issue. I don’t know that it would cause a problem. If somebody registers on Wednesday and then comes in Thursday to vote, with the lag time there’s no way we can get it all processed,” said Kellie Harris Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director. “We’d better able to see that they did register and we’d get them to do a provisional ballot or either tell them give us a day or two to get it in the system. Probably, starting Monday, anybody that drops them off in the office that we can make face-to-face contract with we’ll tell them, ‘Look, this is an unusual circumstance. We don’t have a problem with it. We just need a little bit more time to get it in before you come back to vote.’”

In the other 64 counties, voter registration ended Friday. Would-be voters may still register and vote at the same time during the 17-day early voting period, which begins Thursday and runs through Nov. 5.

Early voting (one-stop) begins Oct. 20 and concludes Nov. 5. In Beaufort County during the first week of the early voting period, the Board of Elections office will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 through Oct. 22 and Oct. 24 through Oct. 26. The schedule for the last 10 days of the early voting period follows: extended office hours at the Board of Elections office, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27 through Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 through Nov. 5, and from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5. Three satellite offices (Aurora, Belhaven, and Chocowinity) would be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 2 through Nov. 4 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5, 198.5 hours. There is no early voting on Sundays in the county.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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